The website of the ICOH Committee on Shiftwork and Working Time, a committee of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH)

Special Election Update

12 Dec 2011 10:51 AM | Deleted user

Dear Working Time Society Membership and Friends:


As you know, there are currently three open Director positions on the WTS board. Nominations closed on December 7th, and after vetting, there are five nominees that will be included in this special elections. They are (in alphabetical order by last name):


Natalia Bobko (Ukraine)

Adam Fletcher (Australia)

Sampsa Puttonen (Finland)

Masaya Takahashi (Japan)

Imelda Wong (Canada)


You are encouraged to take some time to read these statements and interact with the candidates should you have thoughts or questions about what they said.


The elections link should be sent out the week of December 12th. Members, please do vote as this is your chance to help further improve our organization. Again, please feel free to contact the election committee for help if you have questions (  


Nominations closed; the election will take place on-line 2011 December 13-26. Results will be announced before New Years. A link to the elections web site similar to this will be sent when voting is ready to being; this service will automatically tabulate results as specified in our by-laws (simple majority).


For further details, please click here

The Nominations form can be downloaded here



2011 Election Nominee Position Statements


Natalia Bobko


I am specializing in shiftwork research during 20 years, mainly – in psychophysiology of control room human-operators (in energetics, aviation, laboratory simulation of their work), also – health care workers research. I consulted company doctors, chiefs of shiftworkers as well as shiftworkers on the methods to maintain their workability, health and professional longevity. Our people have near no information on these issues. We have no statistics on the shiftwork employment (as many of the developing countries). Currently we are trying to solve this problem at the government level.

I believe the international exchange with the up-to-date scientific achievements is very useful to maintain the health of shiftworkers in different countries. Also I believe science here ought to be transformed to become close to the world rules of development and my experience of activity at WTS board could contribute to this process. I believe that being a member of WTS board I could contribute to promote the international scientific collaboration to establish strong scientific relations with researchers of other countries to improve the working conditions, environment management mechanisms and health maintenance in shiftworkers at the enterprises of all types.

Thank you for your support.

Natalia Bobko, PhD, Institute for Occupational Health (Kyiv, Ukraine), member of ICOH, WTS


Adam Fletcher


I would like to continue serving on the Board, in order to fulfill a number of objectives. These include:
1) Working with the organizers of each Society meeting to ensure that Early Career Researchers find value in attending and participating,

2) Finding effective ways to maintain and increase the membership base of the Society, to support it flourishing in the long-term,
3) Supporting the President and other Board members to improve the running of the society (including Board meetings) to foster efficient and effective practices, and

4) To have fun at Society meetings, and enjoy spending time with the many friends and colleagues I have met through my 12 years of participation to date.

Thank you, Adam Fletcher


Sampsa Puttonen


I work as a senior researcher at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and I'm also a adjunct professor and principal investigator at the University of Helsinki. My background is in stress and individual difference research (experimental and epidemiological). My heart is in science, but I have worked in several company-based development and implementation projects also. Current multidisciplinary projects focus for example on health effects (and mechanisms) of shift work, implementing and studying effects of ergonomic work hours among physicians, and validating screening methods for shift work sleep disorder. I have been a member of the WTS for a relatively short time, but I feel that my understanding of the activities and future challenges of the society are quite good. In my thinking the nitty-gritty of the WTS is collaboration (in knowledge and in research) and I would like to give my contribution to this work.


Masaya Takahashi


Since the Hayama symposium in 2001, I have been serving as a variety of roles to promote our WTS: just a participant, the Secretariat, a member of the symposium scientific committee, proceedings publication (J Human Ergol, Chronobiol Int, Scand J Work Environ Health, and Ind Health), SIN publication, and a co-opted member. With the great support of the relevant colleagues in this society, it was so fortunate for me to have wonderful time and experience through the above activities. From now on, I as a Board member would like to make my every effort to meet the WTS aims at the scientific and practical levels. I am hoping that our society will become more attractive and influential with the united work among the members of the Board.


Imelda Wong


I have had the pleasure of being a member of the Working Time Society since 2009 and have attended 2 symposiums as a student. It was through these conferences that I was inspired to pursue shiftwork research. I am grateful to have been supported by senior researchers who have taken the time to share their knowledge with me.
My PhD dissertation examines the effects of shiftwork and stress on heart disease risk using an interdisciplinary approach combining health psychology, epidemiology, exercise physiology and occupational hygiene. I have also had the opportunity to work with a national survey to examine the risk of injury among shiftworkers.
I see myself at a point in my career where I would like to give back to the WTS and help to expand the network among young researchers. It has been encouraging to see a growth in this field and I see opportunities for interdisciplinary projects.

There is a rising concern with the effects of shiftwork and long working hours as a result of the increasing pace of society. In recent years, I have been contacted frequently not only by industry representatives, but also by individual workers who were concerned about their health after working shiftwork for many years. I hope to bring new perspectives to the WTS to address how to disseminate information not only to policy makers, but also to the general public. I am planning to work with my local government agencies and industries to identify their concerns and share most effective practices. The biennial WTS symposiums may also provide a valuable opportunity to extend similar round table discussions at an international level. This would also provide an arena for those who are applying our research to help identify future research agendas.
Although I am starting out in my academic career and still have much to learn, I can bring enthusiasm and over 10 years of industry experience to the table. I am excited to be a part of this growing area of research and I look forward to helping the WTS move forward into the next phase.

Working Time Society - Internationale Gesellschaft für Arbeitszeit

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